Iroshizuku is a line of ink produced by Pilot under their high-end Namiki brand. The natural landscape and plants of Japan inspire the colors in the line, resulting in some of the most interesting and unique ink around. Some of my earliest reviews were of Iroshizuku ink: Yu-Yake, a delightful burnt orange; Momiji, an incredible, if subtle red; Yama-Budo, a ripe, juicy purple; Kiri-Same, the color of storm clouds in a bottle; and Kon-Peki, a deep and intoxicating ocean blue.
I’d like to begin by offering a hearty apology to the fine folks at Jet Pens, who sent me a bottle of Iroshizuku Asagao all the way back in October of 2013. At the time, I thought that I could sneak in an ink review in the middle of my EMBA program. That was a gross over-estimation of time and ability on my part. I managed to get the ink samples created, but the review itself never materialized – always de-prioritized in favor of papers, presentations, and projects.
Rating: 4.5 April 28, 2010 Iroshizuku Momiji is currently my favorite ink of all time. I’m a big fan of red ink – though most people consider it too hard to read on an extended basis, I’ve never had an issue with most of them – and Momiji is currently at the top of my list. It is a deep red ink that falls on the bluish side of the spectrum.
Rating: 5.0 April 10, 2010 Iroshizuku Yama-budo (wild mountain grapes) is a vibrant purple ink the color of fresh grape juice that’s been spilled across a glazed, porcelain countertop. It is brighter and juicier than J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune, which, itself, can be favorably compared to a red wine stain. Like many other Iroshizuku inks, it is quite highly saturated – to the point that it tends to temporarily stain the ebonite feed on fountain pens.
Rating: 4.0 March 18, 2010 Iroshizuku Kon-peki is a beautiful, azure blue ink that captures the tempestuous nature of the wild ocean. It is a highly saturated ink that exhibits a surprising level of shading – representing the light blue of the ocean surface and the deep blue of the bottom of the sea. Because it is highly saturated, it creates a bold line on both white and off-white paper.
Rating: 3.5 March 01, 2010 Iroshizuku Kiri-same (Misty Dark Gray) by Pilot is the essence of storm clouds in a bottle. It runs the gamut from light to dark gray, as it exhibits significant shading in wider nibs. In fine nibs, it tends to run very light – almost too light for normal use. Like other Iroshizuku inks, it flows well, and I have had no issues using it across a variety of pens and nibs.
Rating: 4.0 February 28, 2010 The Iroshizuku inks by Pilot are quickly becoming my favorite brand. I started my Iroshizuku collection with Yu-Yake (Sunset), which is a delightful burnt orange that I would describe as somewhere between a sunset and the color of autumn leaves. It is a very saturated orange, though it exhibits significant shading in a wide nib. In a fine nib, the shading is reduced, though still apparent.